Braille ATMs Help Visually Impaired to Be More Independent and Cost Is Small; 4,000 of Them Can Now Be Found in the US, Canada, and Australia

By Newman, A. Joseph, Jr. | American Banker, July 11, 1984 | Go to article overview

Braille ATMs Help Visually Impaired to Be More Independent and Cost Is Small; 4,000 of Them Can Now Be Found in the US, Canada, and Australia


Newman, A. Joseph, Jr., American Banker


PHILADELPHIA -- As Margarine G. Beaman tells the story, she got her idea for the "brailling" of America, including automated teller machines equipped for the blind, when she overheard a blind man say he wished he were more independent. He wanted to be able to do things without the help of others.

That was in 1980. Now, she says, more than 50 of the 100 major ATM networks have machines with instructions in braille and with slots for cards, receipts, deposit envelopes, and cash dispensing marked in braille.

Ms. Beaman, chairwoman of the Junior Women's Federation of Austin, Tex., and owner of a scrap metal company and a consulting service, estimates that at least 4,000 ATMs in the United States, Canada, and Australia now have braille markings and instructions. She hopes almost all of them will soon be similarly equipped.

Ms. Beaman was in Philadelphia earlier this month for the annual convention of the American Council of the Blind and for the official opening of 35 braille ATMs in downtown Philadelphia in the Money Access Center (MAC) network owned and operated by Philadelphia National Bank, a unit of CoreStates Financial Corp.

The ATMs belong to Central Penn National Bank, Fidelity Bank, Germantown Savings Bank, Heritage Bank, Industrial Valley Bank, Jefferson Bank, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Philadelphia National Bank, and Royal Bank of Pennsylvania.

The network will have more than 850 ATMs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware by yearend, according to Douglas D. Anderson, manager of the MAC system. …

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